Sometimes I suspect that liberalism…

May 4th, 2009

is essentially a religion with the power to tax.

Entry Filed under: Observations

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. grumps  |  May 5th, 2009 at 5:21 am

    Where conservatism is a religion with the power to invade and incarcerate?

    Foolish oversimplifications, Elliott.

  • 2. Elliot  |  May 5th, 2009 at 7:33 am

    It is an oversimplification, but I think an interesting one.

    In cartoonish terms, conservatives often seem to put their faith in God and be anti-government while liberals often seem secular and have much more faith in government.

    Bad priests never do much to drive people from their religions and bad governments never seem to dent liberal enthusiasm for more of it.

    Of course, it’s not comprehensive, but I think there’s a touch of truth to the idea.

  • 3. John Foust  |  May 5th, 2009 at 8:52 am

    You’re digging a deeper hole, unless by “anti-government” you mean a simplication of “more government”.

  • 4. Elliot  |  May 5th, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Bush wasn’t a conservative. Still not sure what the hell he was.

  • 5. BobG  |  May 5th, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Bush was a Republican, not a conservative.

  • 6. John Foust  |  May 5th, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    No true Scotsman would do such a thing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

  • 7. grumps  |  May 6th, 2009 at 8:32 am

    The whole, “Bush wasn’t conservative,” dodge is wearing thin. He sure as hell wasn’t a liberal.

    Stop trying to avoid the blame for electing a regime that hugely damaged America.

  • 8. Elliot  |  May 6th, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Was Bill Clinton a liberal? I don’t think he was. He was a Democrat, but not a liberal. Just like I don’t think W was a conservative.

    Show me a conservative prior to Bush who would have endorsed preemptive war, nation building, and adding a giant new Federal entitlement.

    The only places I think W acted like a real conservative was in his tax cuts and Supreme Court picks.

    I’ll say again, I still don’t know what the hell he was.

  • 9. John Foust  |  May 6th, 2009 at 9:50 am

    What the hell he was? He was cheered by conservatives, he called himself a conservative, he sucked up to any conservative cause that would give him money. He didn’t distinguish between Republican and conservative. I sure don’t remember hearing from many True Conservatives saying they were holding their nose while voting for and supporting him. Bush campaigned on promises of no preemptive wars, no nation-building, and against Federal expansion. After the first four years, there wasn’t enough evidence he wasn’t a True Conservative?

    I understand the “harm reduction” model of voting for the better of Tweedledee and Tweedledumber, but I must’ve missed those anti-Bush protests led by True Conservatives in 2004.

  • 10. Elliot  |  May 6th, 2009 at 10:11 am

    At some point we’re arguing angels on pins.

    Sure, he looks like a conservative to those on the left.

    And many Christian conservatives certainly would be happy to embrace him.

    But he wasn’t a friend to fiscal conservatives at all.

    And more libertarian conservative-types (like me) wouldn’t have endorsed even half of what he did in office.

  • 11. John Foust  |  May 6th, 2009 at 11:09 am

    You asserted he wasn’t a “conservative”. Then it slid to wasn’t a “fiscal conservative.”

    I don’t care what the Left thought of him, in terms of this discussion. I’d be glad to talk about what everyone else thought of him – and what they did and said about it. Where were the teabaggers in 2004? Cheering Bush?

  • 12. Elliot  |  May 6th, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    You really want to keep doing this?

    I know you want to hang Bush around the neck of conservatism for the next 100 years, but that doesn’t mean people are just going to agree with you.

    Folks have been arguing whether Bush is a real conservative or not for a very long time.

    Before he was reelected, even Salon was running opinions that Bush wasn’t governing as a conservative. http://dir.salon.com/story/opinion/feature/2004/09/10/conservatives/print.html

    Are conservatives to “blame” for George W. Bush? Yes, in the sense that conservatives voted for him.

    Does George W. Bush think of himself as a conservative? I’m sure he does.

    Does George W. Bush exemplify conservative principles? No.

    Let’s just break down his policies and actions:

    Things he did that were classically conservative:
    Tax cuts.
    Nominated conservative justices.
    Limited stem cell research

    Things he did that were in no way conservative:
    Preemptive war
    Nation building
    Tried to create amnesty for illegal aliens
    Expanded Medicare with drug benefit
    Created an entirely new federal bureaucracy (homeland security)
    Worked with Kennedy to insert Federal government further into education
    Hugely increased aid to Africa

    Like I said, I can see why the left would want to hang all conservatism with Bush’s lariat, but it’s an unfair and unworthy effort. Judge conservatism on its principles, not on one particular President’s actions.

  • 13. John Foust  |  May 6th, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    No, we don’t need to keep going ’round on it. You’re doing a heckuva job. Many RINOs have been tarred-and-feathered for far smaller violations of conservatism than the ones you described.

  • 14. Elliot  |  May 6th, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    And you, of course, are right in most ways. Hell, the guy called himself a Compassionate Conservative, didn’t he?

  • 15. Elliot  |  May 6th, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    And I’m really not a Republican. I’m a contrarian. Just can’t find the party for that.

  • 16. John Foust  |  May 6th, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    And to think all this started with a gross generalization about “liberals”.

    If we really wanted to prolong it, we could move on to “Bad priests never do much to drive people from their religions and bad governments never seem to dent liberal enthusiasm for more of it.”

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Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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